People weigh in on Madison City Schools proposed property tax increase

Madison City Schools is looking for a 12 mills property tax increase that would help fund two new schools, additions to others and more security at every school in the district.

Posted: May 14, 2019 5:12 PM
Updated: May 14, 2019 5:28 PM

Madison City Schools is looking for a 12 mills property tax increase that would help fund two new schools, additions to others and more security at every school in the district.

Voters will head to the polls in September to let their voices be heard.

Madison City Schools Superintendent Robby Parker said with such growth in Madison, the school system will be over capacity by next school year if issues aren't addressed now.

"We've got to be able to find a place to put everybody," said Parker.

If voters don't approve a property tax hike in September, Parker said the problem will only get worse.

"We'll have to have major rezones, just trying to find places for people to sit. It will impact us," said Parker.

If passed, homeowners would pay an additional $120 a year, for every $100,000 their home is worth.

Some people said that's too much of an increase, especially if you don't have children in the school system. Others say they live in Madison, because the schools are high-performing.

"We're guiding their future, and the best thing we can do to ensure their future is to put them at a great position from the very beginning," said Robert Abele, who supports the property tax.

As a parent of two, Abele said he's known of the overcrowding for some time now. He worries about his kids' safety and the quality of teaching they receive.

"I mean in order for teachers to be effective, it needs to be an adequate and safe size in the classroom," said Abele.

As far as what he's heard others say about not voting yes for the help, he said he hopes people will look at the bigger picture.

"Our community has always supported Madison City Schools from the day we became a district in 1998. They've always supported the school system," said Parker.

This vote will go to the polls on September 10 and if approved, Superintendent Parker said they will get to work the very next day. He said they are currently working with the city of Madison to help slow down the growth rate. For example, the district makes sure every parent re-registers their child for school each year to ensure they still live in the district.

For more information about the possible property tax increase, click HERE.

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